Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen; the pride of cultural Rotterdam

Not yet to be visited during the upcoming Rotterdam Art Week; the Depot will not open its doors to the public until the autumn of 2021. You can read the ins & outs, facts and backgrounds here.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is the first depot in the world that offers access to a complete collection. The dynamics of the depot are different from those of the museum: no exhibitions are held here, but you can – independently or with a guide – browse through 151,000 works of art. You can also take a look at, for example, conservation and restoration.

Objects are packed, hanging from a scaffold or displayed in a cupboard or displayed in one of the thirteen gigantic glass floating showcases in the atrium. Prints, drawings and photos are kept closed. Visitors can submit requests to view works from these collections. The film and video collection can be consulted in special viewing booths.

Restaurant and roof forest at a height of 35 meters
In the depot, designed by Winy Maas, co-founder of the architectural firm MVRDV, you don’t just get a look behind the scenes of a museum. In addition to the various areas for storage and care, the depot has a restaurant at a height of 35 meters and a rooftop forest, which has recently been awarded a Rooftop Award.

Sustainable depot
In the depot, works are preserved and displayed according to their climatic requirements, rather than based on art movement or era. There are five different climate zones, suited to works of art produced with different materials: metal, plastic, organic/inorganic, black-and-white and colour photography. The eye-catcher of the design is the atrium with the intersecting stairs and the large glass showcases with works of art. The building has been designed to provide optimal conditions for the art while being as energy-efficient as possible. Sustainable materials are used as much as possible in the construction.

Commercial function depot
In addition to its role as the museum’s engine room, the depot will also have a commercial function. Part of the building can be rented as a storage space for art from private collectors, corporate collections or other museums, which in turn can open these spaces to the public.

Sjarel Ex and Ina Klaassen, directors Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen:

“This is a working building in which the most important consideration is what the building can do: to look after our collection while still being open to the public. Next year the entire collection of Boijmans Van Beuningen will once again be visible on one spot for the first time since 1935. We are convinced that making the collection accessible shows how much we care and how well we take care of it. This is something that the inhabitants of Rotterdam will be proud of; something that they want to see with their own eyes, because they partly own this enormous artistic treasure.”

A few more facts and figures:

• Depot 39.5 metres tall, with a roof terrace at a height of about 35 metres • Building’s diameter: 40 metres at its base expanding to 60 metres at the top, with 15,541 square metres of floor area • Façade: 6,609 square metres of glass, divided into 1,664 mirrors • 5 different climate zones • 4 professional restoration studios • Ground level and six floors for art storage – with a restaurant, roof garden and panoramic view on the 6th floor • Some 1,900 square metres of depot space for rent, intended for private collectors • Depot scheduled to open in the fall of 2021 • Depot opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 – 18:00 • Restaurant opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 – late (kitchen closes at 22:00)